Stories from our international boarding schools

Oxford year one and year two IB students weigh in on the new school year

Years one and two – compare and contrast!

First impressions of EF Academy Oxford by Year One students

“During the Induction Week, I met lots of new people and I’ve made many new friends; everyone here is so friendly and nice and this makes me so happy because I’m quite shy. This is my first experience in a boarding school so I was quite nervous before leaving, but now I’m feeling contented because I’ve made many new friends. Most of them are not Italian; they all come from different countries; so I’m getting to know a lot more about other cultures. In my life, I’d never thought about having so many foreign friends but now here I am sharing a room with a girl from Pakistan and hanging out with Norwegians and Germans. I love asking them questions about their countries and their languages and I love answering their questions about Italy. I can say that I’m quite open-minded so I really love being surrounded by foreign people and talking to them. Everything is going amazingly and I couldn’t be happier. I really recommend boarding schools if you have the opportunity or at least having experiences abroad because I think it is one of the best things in the world!”

– Sara Mastantuoni


“When you go into the city center you feel like you are in an ancient town. What I was really not expecting is that there is an Asian restaurant in Oxford.

After the third day ended, we had a trip to Blenheim Palace where Sir Winston Churchill was born. It was really a beautiful and amazing palace. Inside it was full of paintings and architecture it was gorgeous.”

– Raihansya Trisal

“I’ve gotten to know so many wonderful people and I’ve really fallen in love with the school!

On Saturday, some new friends and I went to different university colleges in town. If walls could speak! I mean not only did almost every member of the British royalty study here, many scenes from Harry Potter and lots of inspiration were taken right from where I stood four days ago! (I’m actually not that big of a Potter fan, but still, it’s one of the greatest movies of all times.)

Come here, as soon as possible. Bring a rain coat because, well, you know, it’s England. Also bring a camera to eternalize the moment and just let the school spirit fill you.”

– Anonymous IB 1 student

“My biggest academic adventure has begun. To join the EF Academy in Oxford was the best choice I have ever made. The system like here at EF Academy has a lot of benefits, so you can choose the subjects you want and you don’t have to learn subjects you are maybe not interested in. In my case, I don’t like natural sciences like Biology, Physics or Chemistry and so I didn’t choose these. In my previous school, I had to study all and it was terrible. So now I chose subjects like Business and Economics because one day maybe I want to study these subjects at University.

The thing that surprised me most was that all the teachers were very nice and immediately broke the ice and communicated with us on the same level. Especially my English teacher was very nice to me from the beginning because he spoke like a friend. Also, the constant motivation of the teachers leads to the fact that I would like to put a lot of work into school. The headmaster also gave a great motivational speech at the beginning of the induction week.

During the last week, I met so many nice people. I think also one big benefit of this new international school is, that you can meet a lot of people from all over the world and international contacts could be very useful in these times.”

– Jannis Horl

Meanwhile, here’s what some of the Year Two students were up to:

 Personal Statements, entry tests, applications, and deadlines… sounds familiar? It’s that time of the year again. As many final-year students across the world get ready to submit applications to their dream schools, what’s better than meeting people from these top schools themselves?

Representatives from the University of Pennsylvania (read Benjamin Franklin), Stanford and Wellesley came together for a direct meeting with interested students and parents in London on the evening of Monday, 10th September. It was a student-led visit.

“As the guests were seated, everyone was handed prospectus by each university and the session started. It was divided into two parts. The first segment was comprised of representatives from each university coming to the stage who gave a brief introduction of their respective colleges. They divulged important information about the admission process, campus life, student body, and financial aid. This was followed by a short formal question-answer session where students and parents could ask general questions about the universities. As the audience consisted of mostly international students, the main focus of this session was the financial aid and its terms and conditions. The second segment allowed the students to meet the representatives personally and ask specific questions. Students were able to ask questions like whether they could submit their standardized test scores at a later date than the 1st November deadline for the early-decision applicants, for example. As communicated at the session, students found that the admission rates at these selective schools increase significantly for early-decision applicants. They were also explained the difference between restrictive and early decision methods of application.

The event was particularly important in terms of helping students with narrowing down their choices and putting together a proper action-plan, keeping deadlines in mind.

If you are reading this, then probably you are applying to colleges soon. So, pull up your socks and get ready to woo the colleges!”

– Etisham Chaudhary, IB2

Want to know more about our IB program? Explore Oxford

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